Brian Edward Cairney



  • Last seen: Thursday, 17 June 2010
  • Year of birth: 1979
  • Height: 175 cm
  • Build: Solid
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Hair: Blonde
  • Complexion: Fair
  • Gender: Male
  • Distinguishing Feature: ‘Scotland’ on his right ankle


Brian Cairney was last seen by his mother at his home address in Carey St, Salisbury SA on Thursday 17 June 2010. He is described as 180cm tall, solid build, with a shaved head, and a tattoo of the word ‘Scotland’ on his right ankle.

Extensive enquiries have failed to locate Brian Cairney and there are serious concerns for his safety and welfare.



LOCATION: Salisbury
CASE DATE: June 17, 2010

Murder – Brian Cairney (20-35)


Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or make a report online.

Brian Cairney, aged 31 years, resided with his mother at Carey Street, Salisbury.  On the evening of Thursday, 17th June, 2010 he was at the Elizabeth Shopping Centre waiting to catch a bus home when he struck up a conversation with a male and female.  They all caught the bus together and swapped phone numbers.  He arranged to see them both later that night.  At about 10.00 pm that night he told his mother he was catching the bus to go and visit these friends.  He was mildly affected by alcohol when he left the unit.  He did not catch the bus and has not been seen since.  There has been no activity on his bank accounts, mobile phone or Medicare card.  At the time of his disappearance he was on parole after recently being released from prison.

  • When Brian went missing he was described as:  31 years of age, approximately 180 cm (5’11”), 95 kg, solid build, Caucasian, light complexion, light blue eyes, chipped front tooth and had a shaved head, though his hair is normally light brown which was receding at the front and bald at the crown.
  • Brian was last seen wearing a dark blue t-shirt, black parka vest which was padded with no sleeves, black Adidas parachute tracksuit pants and white Adidas sneakers which had a stripe of silver and a stripe of red on them.  He was carrying a green backpack which has “Australia” written on it in yellow and also a picture of a kangaroo.  He also had a black bumbag which he wore around his waist.
  • Brian has a tattoo of the word “Scotland” on the outside of his right ankle with a small cross tattooed next to it.
  • Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, report online or via the App.

Missing Salisbury man Brian Cairney feared murdered

POLICE suspect foul play in the disappearance of Salisbury man Brian Cairney, who has not been seen since June.

The disappearance is now a Major Crime investigation, which focuses on homicide cases, because the circumstances of his disappearance "were considered suspicious", police said today.

Mr Cairney, 31, left his Carey St home about 10pm on June 17 to catch a bus to the Lyell McEwin Hospital, Elizabeth Vale, to meet a friend, Detective Superintendent Grant Moyle said.

"When he left home he had little or no money on him and he has not accessed his bank account since that time, therefore the circumstances under which he has gone missing are suspicious," said Supt Moyle.

"We've made enquiries with the bus companies and we believe he has not got on the bus."

Mr Cairney has a fair complexion, is about 175cm tall and weighs 95kg. He has a medium build, a round-shaped face, receding hair and tattoos on his left leg and right arm.

When last seen, he was wearing a t-shirt, black vest, black trackpants, sports shoes and was carrying a green backpack.

Anybody with information on Mr Cairney's disappearance should call Bank SA Crime Stoppers ph: 1800 333 000 or online at

Family plea for information in decade-old cold case of missing man Brian Cairney

By Keziah Sullivan
Brian Cairney vanished without a trace from his northern suburbs home a decade ago.
Major Crime detectives believe he was murdered and are calling for those who know what happened to break their silence.
His family too are renewing the plea for answers.
The last time Neil Esposito saw his brother in law - Brian Cairney - was on the evening of June 17, 2010.
Since then he, and Brian's extended family, have endured 10 years of heartache.
"Too long, too long without having him around not knowing what's happened," Neil Esposito said.
"He borrowed money off us, that was at 7.30 at night, his sister has taken him to the bus stop he has met up with this bloke called Chris."
It's believed Brian then made his way back to the Carey Street Unit he shared with his mother in Salisbury.
About 10pm he told her he was going to meet two people.
Those witnesses say Brian never made it.
"Every day is just ponder, when and if he is going to come home , if we are going to find him and if we are going to get a lead," Mr Esposito said.
The family has their suspicions about who murdered Brian and they have this message for them.
"Just come clean, come clean, help yourself, help us," Mr Esposito said.
Major Crimes detectives also have their suspicions and believe someone they've spoken to in the past may hold the key to solving the case.
"The people who haven't been completely truthful with the police in the past we'd urge them to come forward," Detective Senior Constable Philip Pullinger said.
"We're not interested in prosecuting them we're interested in prosecuting people in relation to the murder of Brian Cairney."
Brian's Mother Deb Lines struggles everyday with not knowing what happened to her son.
"If you are alive please contact us or Crimestoppers, everything is okay you are not in trouble," Ms Lines said in a statement.
Police are offering a reward of up to $200,000 for anyone who has any information that could help solve this mystery.
"He may not be someone special to you, but he is someone special to us and we would like closure," Ms Lines said.
Anyone with information has been asked to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Mystery woman could be vital link in solving suspected murder case

ONE fateful June night in 2010, Brian Cairney left his mother’s Salisbury house to meet up with some people he’d just met. She’s never seen him since. Then a mystery woman contacted her.

A MYSTERY woman could have information on the baffling disappearance and presumed murder of Salisbury man Brian Cairney.

She has had contact with Mr Cairney’s mother, with Major Crime detectives now appealing for her to contact them.

While they do not want precise details of her communications revealed, the woman has indicated she may have some knowledge about who was responsible for Mr Cairney’s disappearance.

Mr Cairney, 31, was last seen on June 17, 2010, when he left his mother’s home at Salisbury after telling her he was catching a bus to meet some people he had met earlier that day.

Investigations have revealed he did not catch the bus and did not meet those people as planned. He had very little cash and no credit cards on him when he vanished.

Major Crime case officer Detective Brevet Sergeant Erin Vanderwoude said there have been very few leads since initial inquiries were conducted.

No motive has been uncovered and there are no obvious factors in his background that could have resulted in him being targeted.

“By all accounts, Mr Cairney was an innocuous sort of person who kept to himself,’’ she said.

Detectives have established Mr Cairney visited his sister the day he vanished and borrowed some money before going to the Elizabeth City Centre. While there, he met a couple whom he had never seen before – and made arrangements to meet them later that night to go drinking at their house. Somewhat of a loner, he had few close friends but many acquaintances.

The trio caught a bus and the pair got off at Elizabeth Vale while Mr Cairney continued on the journey, arriving at his mother’s house at 9.50pm.

Mr Cairney’s mother, Debbie Lines, has told detectives he had a phone conversation with someone and she heard him tell them “I’m coming over, I’m catching the bus’’.

He told his mother he was going to meet someone he had met in prison but detectives have established he was speaking to the man he had met earlier that day.

Before leaving the house at 10.10pm he asked his mother for money for the bus fare but she did not give him any as she only had a $50 note.

“He then left carrying only a backpack and was never seen again,’’ Detective Bvt Sgt Vanderwoude said.

“We have established he never got on the bus, was not seen at the bus stop and do not believe he met his new friend as planned.’’

Mr Cairney’s phone records show several calls and texts between him and the friend that night, with the last at 10.47pm and then Mr Cairney’s phone was turned off. The friend has told detectives Mr Cairney did not arrive at the bus stop where they had arranged to meet and he had then returned home. A search of the man’s house turned up no evidence of any foul play.

The mystery female contacted Ms Lines following recent publicity surrounding the case.

“This person has indicated she has knowledge of what has happened to Mr Cairney,’’ Detective Bvt Sgt Vanderwoude said.

Ms Lines said she wanted to know what had happened to her son “either way’’.

“We’re learning how to carry it and accept it because we have to get on with our lives because it has happened and we can’t go back and change it,’’ she said.

“We hope every day that we find out what’s happened to Brian, for sure. There isn’t a day that goes past and you think it will be today.’’

Ms Lines said Brian – the eldest of her three children – was a gentle person who was close to his two younger sisters, Bronwyn and Kristen.

“He was a good uncle to his nephews and niece. He never caused us any upheaval,’’ she said.

Just like Mr Cairney’s case, the disappearance of Salisbury East man Craig Leonard in early 2010 remains unsolved.

Mr Leonard, 41, who was suffering from mental health issues, left his home on Douglas Rd some time on or about January 10.

He was in the process of finding alternative accommodation because of strains on his family relationships. He was last seen by his wife and daughter before they went out. When they returned later, they thought he may be asleep in a bedroom but later discovered he had left.

He was not fit enough to walk long distances and left with only some clothing and some food items – including cold sausages and some junk food.

In the days after his disappearance, a family member used his credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM.

Case officer Detective Sgt Shaun Osborn said several searches for Mr Leonard had proved fruitless.

The first involved excavating sections of the backyard of the family home and the second by police divers in the River Murray at Walker’s Flat, where the family used to holiday.

“The involvement of people close to him was examined, there was money taken from his bank account ... but nothing is conclusive,’’ Det Sgt Osborn said.

“The circumstantial evidence of fraud in relation to that account does not take us further as far as his murder or disappearance goes.’’

Mr Leonard’s sister, Deb Fulcher, said she believed her brother had met with foul play.

“I can’t see him just up and leaving; for medical reasons, I don’t think he would have done that,’’ she said.

“After all this time I think he would have reached out to mum or myself.

“I would love it if someone came forward and spoke to the police to help put this to rest for our sake and let us know one way or another – that would be nice.’’

Ms Fulcher said she thought about her brother “every day’’ and remembered him as “a good laugh, someone who was always there to help you’’.

A $200,000 reward is available in each of the cases for anyone with information that can assist in solving them.